A while back outreach coordinator Giovanni started offering tips for missionaries. Here’s another gem.
Tip Number 74: Don’t be the person who gives pennies or apples for Halloween.
Every child hates the house that hands out change, apples, or some other random item that is not candy on Halloween. We as missionaries do not want to be like these people.
Jesus says, “…to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?” Luke 11:10-12
See, Jesus said it right there! What kind of person on Halloween would give children apples when they ask for candy?
Now you may be thinking – “what does this have to do with being a missionary?” Everything! We don’t go out and give people things they don’t need. When we go to a foreign land we do not jump off the boat and start telling everyone about Jesus and handing out rosaries. No, we meet the people and address their needs. We feed the hungry, tend to the sick, and build personal relationships. Then when they are ready we are there to give them the thing they need the most: Jesus.
The same goes for us here at home. We must meet people individually where they are and when they are ready slowly bring them towards God. If we go around simply handing out rosaries, bibles, or holy cards we are no better than the people that hand out fruit or spare change. Even though all of these things are good, they are not what they need. When we help people meet their needs they now have something much better, a friend in Christ. Then the time might be right to give to hand out rosaries, bibles, or even apples…
But you might want to just invest in those full size candy bars. 🙂